Issue: 20030401

Tuesday, April 1, 2003
APRIL 2003
4
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262
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Articles
cover
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POPULAR SCIENCE
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0001.xml
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GM Corp.: AVALANCHE
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GM Corp.
AVALANCHE
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0002.xml
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2
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RadioShack
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RadioShack
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0003.xml
tableOfContents
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3
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POPULAR science
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0004.xml
article
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4
From the Editor
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What Now, NASA?
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WE SENT THIS ISSUE TO PRESS ONLY A FEW DAYS after Columbia disintegrated, so there is a gap between what we knew as we closed our story about the International Space Station and what you know now. More clues may now be in concerning the cause of the disaster.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0005.xml
masthead
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4
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POPULAR science
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0006.xml
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5
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YAMAHA
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YAMAHA
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0007.xml
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6
6,7
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Advertisement: GE Innova 2000
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GE Innova 2000
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0008.xml
article
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8
Letters
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Hot Words About a Hot Planet
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Of course we should explore the possibility of life on Venus. It's human arrogance to assume all life-forms are like us. We are already discovering new life-forms that live in more extreme conditions than originally thought possible right here on our home planet.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0009.xml
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9,10,11
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FORD
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FORD
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0010.xml
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12
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0011.xml
review
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13,14,15
What'sNew
MULTIFUNCTION ELECTRONICS
THIS YEAR'S TREND: MANY FUNCTIONS, ONE DEVICE
VOICE RECORDING WITH YOUR CAMCORDER? MP3 PLAYER THAT SHOWS VIDEO? HERE COME THE COMBOS.
THE WHAT'S NEW TICKER: 4.03
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PANASONIC SV-AV30
$399
The Combo: MPEG-4 camcorder, still image camera, voice recorder, TV recorder, MP3 player. The Result: That something this capable can fit in the palm of your hand had us open-mouthed, but poor-resolution photos and video clips dampen the fun.
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SONY CLIÉ NZ90
$800
The Combo: PDA, 2-megapixel digital camera with flash, built-in Bluetooth and 802.11 b wireless networking. The Result: Gorgeous looks, and lots going on, but you need nerves of steel to keep it steady while using the camera, and it's too heavy to carry comfort ably in your pocket.
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RCA LYRA AUDIO/VIDEO JUKEBOX
$399
The Combo: Audio, video and still image player and portable hard drive. The Result: On the one hand, why not? The technology easily supports both media. But do people really want to watch video on a 3.5-inch screen? If not, you can connect it to a TV.
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VIEWSONIC MEDIA 2GO (PROTOTYPE)
The Combo: Audio, video and still-image player. The Result: Similar to the RCA Lyra (above), and with the same pros and cons. Also automatically syncs audio and video with your PC. Potential downside: It's tied to Microsoft-approved file formats, since it uses a Microsoft platform.
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SAMSUNG SCD5000
$1,399
The Combo: 4-megapixel digital still camera, MiniDV camcorder. The Result: The design, which pivots two different lenses around the body, is brilliant. But because you can find much smaller, higher-resolution still cameras, the device seems destined to serve a niche.
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Electronics manufacturers are getting it together in 2003. Instead of product breakthroughs, the emphasis is on, as Sony puts it, "combining technologies into single products to enhance consumer lifestyles"—you know, MP3 meets digital camera meets cellphone with built-in electric shaver.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0012.xml
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14_1
14_1,14_2
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Microsoft
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Microsoft
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0013.xml
review
18
18
What'sNew
ELECTRONICS
LIVE AND ON LOCATION
New GPS-enabled devices deliver information when and where you need it.
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Garmin's iQue 3600
$589
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After two years of talk, location-based services are set to debut this year. But make no mistake—these are baby steps. Telenavigation's Telenav service ($7 per month) is the first. Call in your desired destination with a Nextel GPS-enabled phone running Telenav and it gives you turn-by-turn voice directions.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0014.xml
review
18
18
What'sNew
ELECTRONICS
LIGHTS, CAMERA, BURN
Camcorders finally embrace the DVD as a recording medium.
Sony's
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Sony's
DCR-DVD200
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The first DVD videocamera, from Hitachi, was a bulky novelty. Three years later, however, we're happy to see svelte models from Panasonic and Sony (shown here)—as well as a new trimmed-down model from Hitachi—that will hit the shelves in the coming months.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0015.xml
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19
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Sears, Roebuck and Co.: CRAFTSMAN
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Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CRAFTSMAN
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0016.xml
article
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20
What'sNew
AUTO TECH
Peer Review
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The problem with minivans is that they tend to look a lot like minivans. That's why we were so excited when we saw Nissan's Quest concept at the 2002 Detroit show. For the first time, someone had something different—daring, even. One year later, the production version has watered down the original striking shape.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0017.xml
article
20
20
What'sNew
AUTO TECH
AIRBAGS GET SMART
And they're getting smarter.
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This fall, more than a third of new cars must, by federal mandate, be able to sense the difference between an adult occupant, a child and an empty seat. Airbags would then only inflate as much as needed. Weight and tension sensors under seats and in seatbelts are the first step, but Siemens, TRW and Motorola are developing lasers, 3-D cameras and electrical fields that can determine occupants' position as well as their size.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0018.xml
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21
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TIME
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TIME
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0019.xml
review
22
22
What'sNew
COMPUTERS
BATTLE OF THE BULGE, PART I
A laptop that acts like a PDA
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$1,500
Desktop, laptop, PDA—which one has your most up-to-date files? Simplifying things is the new Sharp Actius PC-MM 10, a laptop that, at 10.1 by 8.3 by 0.79 inches and 2.1 pounds, is as thin and light as any. It's also ready to go when you are, because it automatically (and continually) syncs files with your desktop via a PDA-esque docking station. It's powered by a 1GHz Transmeta Crusoe processor and packs in a 15GB hard drive, support for 802.11b and a 3-hour battery. Price: approximately $1,500. www.sharp-usa.com
SUZANNE KANTRA KIRSCHNER
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0020.xml
review
22
22
What'sNew
COMPUTERS
BATTLE OF THE BULGE, PART II
Intel gets slim, fast.
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Blurring the distinction between full-function laptops and ones you'd actually carry is Intel's new Centrino platform. Slimmer and more power-frugal, it doesn't sacrifice speed or components like a DVD/CD-RW drive. Centrino runs slower than a Pentium 4M, but Intel claims it processes more data per cycle and operates more efficiently.
SUZANNE KANTRA KIRSCHNER
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0021.xml
article
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What'sNew
THE POPSCI TECH TEST
Onboard and Online
Our aviation editor flight-tests Boeing's new broadband service.
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It speaks well of Lufthansa's new inflight Internet service that the novelty wears off quickly. Sure, I'm e-mailing colleagues from 35,000 feet over the North Atlantic at 550 mph, but it feels so . . . office-like. I'm testing FlyNet, Lufthansa's branding of Connexion by Boeing, the world's first broadband inflight Internet service, which debuted in January on a single 747 that circles between Washington Dulles and Frankfurt.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0022.xml
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24,25
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SIERRA: GMC
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SIERRA
GMC
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0023.xml
review
26
26,27
What'sNew
AMUSEMENT PARK TECH
HOW EXTREME CAN ROLLER COASTERS GO?
THREE NEW RIDES RAISE THE BAR AGAIN, AND THERE'S NO END IN SIGHT.
Bon Bon Land's EuroFighter
Cedar Point's lop Thrill Dragster
Six Flags' Superman Ultimate Flight
Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH of Germany
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Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH of Germany
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Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH of Germany
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$25
Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH of Germany
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Every spring, amusement parks engage in a bit of oneupmanship by unveiling thrill rides that are taller, faster, steeper and more extreme. Making it all possible is new technology like hydraulic launch systems and electromagnetic brakes. The payoff: Coasters that burst past previously unthinkable height and speed marks, along with new designs that up the adrenaline ante.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0024.xml
review
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28
What'sNew
WHY BUY
Sole-Searching Simplified
Running shoes are laced with confusing technology. Here's how to score a perfect fit.
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CUSHIONING
$150
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MOTION CONTROL
$130
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STABILITY
$90
Jenny Everett
Running shoes used to be running shoes. Now, thanks to a Nike-inspired marketing war, you face hundreds of choices tagged with bewildering techno-jargon, and the penalties for picking the wrong kicks are painful—from blisters to shin splints to stress fractures.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0025.xml
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0026.xml
article
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30,32,33,35
CrimeSeen
AT THE INTERSECTION OF SCIENCE & CRIME
Will Terror Laws Give Science a Chill?
Post-9/11 laws protect Americans from the mishandling of potential bioterror agents. They could also slow down some vital medical research.
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Jessica Snyder Sachs
It's impossible to miss the note of fear in the voices of prominent American bio-scientists. Laws rushed onto the books after 9/11 introduced new criminal penalties for improper handling of potential bio-weapon materials, and the first prosecutions have made it clear that the feds mean business.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0027.xml
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31
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Scotts: Enriched LawnSoil
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Scotts
Enriched LawnSoil
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0028.xml
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32
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HOTBOT
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HOTBOT
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0029.xml
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33
33
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intel
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intel
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0030.xml
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34
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JOHN DEERE
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JOHN DEERE
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0031.xml
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35
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JOHN DEERE
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JOHN DEERE
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0032.xml
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36
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DODGE
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DODGE
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0033.xml
article
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37,38
NewsFiles
space exploration
Europe's Own Space Disaster
No lives were lost, but Ariane explosion cripples a daring comet mission.
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aS NASA SIFTS through the wreckage from the Columbia space shuttle in search of clues to its February explosion, European investigators continue to pick up the pieces of their own space nightmare. Doubts about a rocket launcher's reliability have grounded Europe's most ambitious space venture.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0034.xml
article
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NewsFiles
engineering
Faking the Big One
UC San Diego builds the world's largest outdoor quake simulator.
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1 AST NOVEMBER, Thomas Fumal, a researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey, co-authored the country’s most comprehensive report on the rupture history of the San Andreas fault zone. The findings confirmed what geologists have long suspected: The big one is coming to California, most likely within the next 30 years.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0035.xml
article
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40
NewsFiles
nanotechnology
CO-puter
Carbon monoxide makes the world's smallest circuit.
THE TRICKLE-DOWN COMPUTER CIRCUIT
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iN THE NEVER-ENDING QUEST FOR smaller electronics, IBM has produced a computer circuit so small that 200 billion could fit comfortably on your thumb nail. The world's most petite molecular circuit touts digital-logic elements about 260,000 times tinier than those used in today's most advanced silicon circuitry—and uses 100,000 times less energy.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0036.xml
article
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NewsFiles
terrorism
SEE-THROUGH SECURITY: NOW RATED PG
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A NEW SECURITY SCREENING TECHNOLOGY once criticized as working too well—it exposed everything hidden beneath your clothes, weapons and otherwise—has now cleaned up its act. Developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the three-dimensional full-body scanner uses harmless long-wave radio signals, about the same frequency as satellite television signals, to recognize concealed weapons.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0037.xml
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41
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United States Postal Service
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United States Postal Service
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0038.xml
article
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42
NewsFiles
transportation
Speed vs. Need
Maglev tech finally leaves the station.
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tHE DEBUT OF THE WORLD'S FIRST commercial magnetic levitation rail system in Shanghai, China, in January is raising hopes that the United States may finally get onboard. Urban roadways have never been more congested. A levitating train like Shanghai's, boosters argue, might be just the ticket for short hops between cities or travel between them.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0039.xml
article
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42
NewsFiles
infertility update
MAKING BABIES—AND BIRTH DEFECTS?
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LAST MONTH, WE REPORTED ON unregulated fertility treatments that expose thousands of women and their future children to known and unknown hazards each year ["Sally Has 2 Mommies and 1 Daddy," March]. Research suggests that assisted reproductive technologies (ART)—like in vitro fertilization and intercytoplasmic sperm injection—may double the risk of serious birth defects.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0040.xml
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43
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LENNOX
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LENNOX
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0041.xml
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44
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0042.xml
article
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44
NewsFiles
aphthalmology
Tele-Vision Implant
IMPLANTABLE MINI-TELESCOPE
A tiny telescope may rescue degenerating eves.
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pICTURE THIS: A LOVED ONE sits directly across from you sipping coffee, but when you look at his or her face you see a gaping black splotch. For more than 15 million Americans with macular degeneration disease—a mysterious and potentially blinding condition that chews away at the central retina—this is everyday life.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0043.xml
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45
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TOYOTA
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TOYOTA
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0044.xml
article
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46
NewsFiles
emergency medicine
Slushy Puts Death on Hold
Can a hypothermic brain save cardiac arrest victims?
THE CHILL LIFE
GERM CARDS, GUM NOT INCLUDED
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tODAY, IF YOUR TICKER SUDDENLY stops beating, the chance of surviving—assuming you are not conveniently standing in an ER—is less than 3 percent. Cardiac arrest strikes an estimated 1,000 Americans daily. The primary problem with resuscitation is often not the heart but the brain; while the heart can potentially be revitalized after 20 beatless minutes, irreversible brain damage ensues just 4 to 6 minutes after blood flow stops.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0045.xml
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47
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Citibank
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Citibank
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0046.xml
article
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48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56
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AFTER COLUMBIA: THE ISS IN CRISIS
CAN SPACE STATION SUDDENLY PUT INTO SURVIVAL MODE BY THE SHUTTER DISASTER SURVIVE ORBITAL CHALLENGES AND EARTHBOUND CRITICS?
The Crew Gets the News
After Columbia, A New Game Plan
Freighters and People Haulers
Billions and Billions and Billions
CAN RUSSIA SAVE THE DAY?
Time to Light a New Candle
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SCOTT MOWBRAY
It was a terrible accident, at a terrible time. When the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated 200,000 feet above Texas on the morning of February 1, seventeen years after Challenger, several things happened. Americans woke to another televised lesson in the dangers of an adventure that, surely, we had not really forgotten is perilous.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0047.xml
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NAVAL RESERVE
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NAVAL RESERVE
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0048.xml
article
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58,59,60,61
SPECS
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Dodge's 4-wheel Tomahawk
That's horsepower, miles per hour and thousands of dollars: the oversize numbers for Dodge's 4-wheel Tomahawk "motorcycle" prototype (name for the cruise missile), which the company says it may bring to market.
HOW DESIGNERS CREATED THE 500-HP 4-WHEEL SUPERBIKE
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DICK TERESI
The Dodge Tomahawk is auto erotica for the customizer and power freak. An enormous 500horsepower V10 Viper engine sits on a billet aluminum body, each part a one-off custom design, machined to order. The exhaust note reminds us of a light aircraft's, with enough crackle to rattle windows.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0049.xml
article
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62,63,64,65,66,67,68
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The Hound of the data Points
Geographic profiling pioneer Kim Rossmo has been likened to Sherlock Holmes; his Watson in the hunt for serial killers is a digital sidekick—an algorithm he call Rigel.
Rigel and the Rapist
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BRUCE GRIERSON
until he was called in on the Beltway Sniper investigation, Detective Kim Rossmo's most confounding case was the South Side Rapist. For almost a decade, an unknown assailant, his face bandit-wrapped in a scarf, had been stalking women in quiet Lafayette, Louisiana, and then assaulting them in their homes.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0050.xml
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Cessna
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Cessna
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0051.xml
article
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70,71,72,73,74,75,76
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ROBOT SUBMARINES GO TO WAR
Already, smart unmanned subs are set to replace dolphins as undersea mine sniffers. Next tech: mine detonation, remote sleuthing and robotic combat.
TODAY: HUNTING MINES
HARBOR MINE HUNT
COUNTER-ATTACK
TOMORROW: DETONATING MINES AND MORE
REMOTE INTEL
NEXT STEP: TECH HURDLES
THE FUTURE: ROBOTIC FIGHTERS
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CARL POSEY
SHEATHED IN A CHILLING VEIL OF rain, under cover of darkness, a few Navy Seals descend from a ship into a small rubber boat. They motor to a nearby harbor, idle the engine, and gently lower three torpedo-shaped objects into the water. The mission?
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0052.xml
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77
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BOSE
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BOSE
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0053.xml
article
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78,79,80,81,82,84
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Something Funny Down on the Pharm
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DAN FERBER
He has no idea what kind of drugs they were, because the folks who did the planting and harvesting never told him what he was growing. Carlson—54, ruddy skin, beefy hands— has been farming in Aurora, Nebraska, since he returned from Vietnam in 1971.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0054.xml
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83
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ESCORT
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ESCORT
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0055.xml
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85
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Tempur-Pedic, Inc.
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Tempur-Pedic, Inc.
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0056.xml
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86
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YAMAHA
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YAMAHA
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0057.xml
article
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87,88,89
POPULAR SCIENCE Adventure
FIRST PERSON
Underwater Airplane Takes Flight
Graham Hawkes is the first waviator. His goal: reinvigorate manned ocean exploration.
We stop short of barrel rolls. Hawkes isn't sure if the batteries can handle it.
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Mark Schrope
the sea lion is taunting us. Having matched our speed through several banks and dives, it cocks its head, looks me straight in the eye, and fires off a short burst of bubbles as if to say, "Is that all you got?" At this, Graham Hawkes, the inventor and pilot of this submersible, just smiles.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0058.xml
article
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90
POPULAR SCIENCE Adventure
MISSION CRITICAL
The Reinvented Wheel That Killed
It was specially designed for comfort. Then one day, at 124 mph, it shattered.
ANATOMY OF A CRASH
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THE SITUATION June 3, 1998, 5:47 a.m: It's a typical morning aboard Germany's InterCity Express train 884. Most passengers sit comfortably in plush seats, mill about the aisles, or tend to sleepy children as the train, which is capable of 174 mph, shudders, then slides out of the Munich station en route to the port city of Hamburg.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0059.xml
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91
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THOMSON
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THOMSON
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0060.xml
article
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92
POPULAR SCIENCE Adventure
SECURITY CLEARANCE
The DOE's Gadget Guru
At a secretive government facilily, one inventor is given free rein.
BZORGI'S BRAINSTORMS
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the Banshee is a 3-ounce rubberized acoustic grenade inspired by the notorious 1993 riots in Mogadishu. It disperses unruly crowds with an ear-piercing 130-decibel squeal, and is just one of countless ideas percolating inside the brain of Fariborz Bzorgi, a senior staff engineer at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0061.xml
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93
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Aero Products International, Inc.: Raised AeroBed
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Aero Products International, Inc.
Raised AeroBed
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0062.xml
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Stoner, Inc.
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Stoner, Inc.
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0063.xml
article
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POPULAR SCIENCE Adventure
FROM THE FIELD
One Part Bat Drool, Two Parts Dragon Blood
For Terry Fredeking, it's the cure for what ails you.
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WHEN TERRY FREDEKING practices medicine, it often involves wrestling Komodo dragons, collecting vampire bat saliva, and wrangling Tasmanian devils. As president and CEO of Antibody Systems in Hurst, Texas, he specializes in procuring rare animal proteins that may hold the key to medicine's most vexing problems, including drug-resistant bacteria and organ-transplant rejection.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0064.xml
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NEXTTEN
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NEXTTEN
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0065.xml
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96
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gorilla glue
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gorilla glue
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0066.xml
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96,97
FYI
MOVIES
Exposing The Core's Soft Center
The new film's science is even more confused than the plot.
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MICHAEL MOYER
ONE HUNDRED FORTY YEARS after Jules Verne imagined a Journey to the Center of the Earth, Paramount Pictures is putting it on screen: The Core hits theaters March 28. This time around, a crack team of scientists and "terranauts" travels to Earth's core to—what else?
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0067.xml
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97
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The Armor All/STP Products Company
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The Armor All/STP Products Company
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0068.xml
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FYI
BOOKS
Order from Chaos
A new book explores how everything stays in sync.
THE POPSCI READING LIST
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If you believe some pundits, the future is bleak for traditional “hard” sciences like physics and mathematics. The future is biology, they say, where the power of the genome awaits. Yet while there is a bit of truth to this, the most exciting new book of the spring explores a much more likely scenario: Biologists increasingly rely on the powerful tools of math and physics, while mathematicians work on biology’s ever-expanding set of complex problems.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0069.xml
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0070.xml
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99
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Select Comfort Direct
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Select Comfort Direct
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0071.xml
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100
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SunPorch Structures Inc.
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SunPorch Structures Inc.
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0072.xml
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SEA EAGLE.com
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SEA EAGLE.com
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FYI
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FYI
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Imagine looking at a rainbow off to the east. The sun is setting behind you in the west. White sunlight (a combination of all the colors in the rainbow) travels through the atmosphere, flies eastward past your head, and hits the water droplets as they fall from a passing storm.
PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0074.xml
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TECHNOSCOUT
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TECHNOSCOUT
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FYI
WORD WATCH
Behaviourome
IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH SCIENCE JARGON!
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[noun] When scientists spelled out the human genome, it predictably began to mutate the English language. Today there seems to be no end to the proliferation of words ending in "ome." Everyone is familiar with the genome. Then came proteome and transcriptome, and lately enough other omes to keep a yoga class chanting for hours.
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MacNeil Automotive Products Limited: WeatherTech
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MacNeil Automotive Products Limited
WeatherTech
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0077.xml
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SunSetten
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SunSetten
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105,106,107,108,109,110,111,112,113,114,115,116,117
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psshowcase
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PopularScience_20030401_0262_004_0080.xml
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Looking Back
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Ancestral SUV, 1949
FROM THE POPULAR SCIENCE ARCHIVES
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This double-duty sedan "starts the utility trend," our headline promised. Kaiser's Traveler, along with its plusher Vagabond cousin, featured a twice-folding rear bench seat and a pickup-inspired tailgate. "It is designed to look like a four-door sedan and work like a light truck or station wagon," we said, adding that it's a "new type of automobile: the utility sedan."
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TOYOTA
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TOYOTA
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